+Fr. Michael Constantinides, St. George - Rock Island, IL | April 23, 2020
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
We find ourselves in the Paschal season once again, though for sure this has been a different kind of Paschal celebration this year, we do indeed celebrate today! No matter what is going on in the world, these words: “Christ is Risen,” still should fill us with great joy. A few days ago, we celebrated the “death of death, the destruction of Hades and the beginning of our eternal life.” This joy that we have, that no one can take away, both sets our own hearts on fire and can set others aflame as well. For us this Paschal greeting is not simply a way of saying Happy Easter, but a statement of faith.
With the Resurrection, the entire universe, all of space/time is both renewed and consecrated. This is something that should be obvious to us Christians. While we look around us, the shops, schools, restaurants and even the churches are still closed, it is indeed difficult to see this renewal. Yet if we look, we can see this renewal everywhere from the doctors, nurses and scientists who are fighting this disease down to the maintenance men and women who keep our buildings in order, ready for us when we come back. It is our job to bring the Good News of the Resurrection (Ευαγγέλιο) to the world, just as those who came before us.
Today we also celebrate the feast day of Saint George the trophy-bearer. I am blessed to serve at the parish dedicated to this great saint. His story is indeed inspiring, but I want to focus on one fact from his life. Saint George, being a soldier, a member of the imperial guard, had anything and everything he wanted. This did not stop him from throwing away all the honors that he had, to be tortured and martyred for the Lord he worshipped. What we learn from this Saint is that this Good News is so important, that people have given their lives so that the world would know the power of God.
So, we have a responsibility to be joyful even when the world gives us nothing but sadness. We are joyful, because we reflect the light of the Resurrection! We are joyful because death has been conquered! We are joyful because Christ is risen from the dead! May the Risen Lord always bless us!
Christ is Risen!